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Having smoke-free zones around baby or quitting smoking altogether are positive things whānau can do for baby.

Encouraging the whānau to quit smoking (or at the least to have smoke-free spaces for baby) might be a challenge, especially in a family where smoking is very much part of their daily lives.

Quitting smoking

The resource 'Thinking about Parenting' (page 2) might be a good place to start a conversation with whānau. It says, ‘We all want the best for our kids – Imagine them when they’re 5, 15 or 30 years old.’

Ask the whānau:

  • Do you ever dream about what your kids will be like when they’re older?
  • What would you like their future to be like?
  • Did you know that children whose parents smoke are much more likely to smoke than other kids?
  • What are the pluses and minuses of being a smoker?
  • Have you thought about giving up?
  • How did it go?
  • What do you think would have helped you?
  • What do you think about these quitting tips?:
    • Make a plan to quit with other smokers.
    • Make a smoke-free plan and stick to it.
    • Have a smoke-free home and car.
    • Use the money you save on cigarettes to buy things for you or your baby.

If you usually smoke 12–14 cigarettes a day, quitting will save you around $4,000 in a year.

Creating smoke-free zones

If quitting is unlikely, discuss the following ideas for making baby’s world a smoke-free zone:

  • Make a rule – your home and car are smoke-free at all times for everyone.
  • Remove all ashtrays from your home.
  • Clean out your car ashtray.
  • Remove the cigarette lighter from your car.
  • Let other people know – put Smoke-free/Auahi kore stickers on your windows.
  • Ask your whānau to support you by not smoking in your home and car.
  • Wear a ‘smoking jacket’ that you leave outside where you smoke.

Having a new baby is a good reason to quit smoking.

If whānau want help to quit, see the resources section for contacts about smoke-free programmes.

How does this topic relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Ka taea au ki te mātakitaki – I can watch

Six things children need – Te ārahi me te māramatanga – guidance and understanding

Helpful resources for whānau